What's With Reality T.V. Cameramen?...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by ZenG, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Specifically,why is it necessary to shoot every reality show as if they'd just drank 27 cups of coffee......camera shakes in every scene, the focus button zooms in and out spastically, blur-motion footage at every opportunity...?
    Then they pass it off the editors...who also seem to have ADD.....processed further with jittery sequences composed of 1/100th of a second blips.......

    One example is a show called "Eaten Alive"...I can't get 5 minutes into this show without wanting to take a baseball bat and smash the living hell out of my t.v screen...it's that annoying..

    Don't watch---change the channel, you say?

    Exactly....and that's what I do.....

    Hey...reality t.v editors/cameramen.......if you want me to watch your show then stop trying to give me a blinding headache with the camera work.....

    Maybe you think the Blair Witch Project is the gold standard for hand-held camera sequencing....believe me it isn't.........that movie absolutely sucked from a cinematography point-of-view.....

    Don't let me ever catch one of you cameramen on my lawn.........
  2. Well, to be fair, when The Blair Witch Project did it it was still fairly original. I still remember me and my friends talking about if that movie was real or not.
  3. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Everone's attention span is getting shorte....

    Look, a monkey!
    slobake and Jim Nazium like this.
  4. Meth.
  5. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Inactive

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    Don't watch much "reality" TV except for the truly unscripted stuff like The Dan Patrick Show. His camera men are very steady, and most of the cameras are controlled by remotes off-site anyway. Makes Dan and the the crew more able to ignore them, and it works.
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Any camera work done without a tripod is shaky. I have enough multiple hundred hours with a camera to know that. But it seems like some of the shows make no effort to try and stablize the camera. I just turn them off - can't stand "reality tv" under any circumstances. The closest I come is Undercover Boss and American Pickers.
  7. MX21


    Sep 28, 2007
    Springdale, AR
    It's not just reality TV. I see it in TV shows and Movies all the time. They seem to think it's artsy to have a shaky camera. I just think it poor/lazy camerawork. There's a reason they invented the SteadiCam. We have to turn it off when we see it because it makes my wife sick.
  8. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    I imagine it's a production decision, to try to make the end result look "spontaneous".
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I hear you. However, a Steadicam is way out of the budget of some of these shows. As a pro video producer myself, I think they're just doing crappy camera work.
    marko138 likes this.
  10. marko138


    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Pilgrim, what do you do? I work in TV. Worked in news for a while then left for government work.
  11. I don't watch reality TV (or much TV at all, really), but the whole shaky cam/zoom-o-matic thing irritates the crap out of me. It's annoying as all get out and really just ruins the film.
  12. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    hey,.. OP
    CALM DOWN!!! it's the new sexy
    i'll tell you really hurts. try watching someone play a "first-person shooter"! maybe these modern camera men are the product of video gaming motion sickness. :(
  13. This, probably.
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    30+ years in higher ed planning, shooting, editing and producing radio & TV educational stuff. I started in commercial live radio and still love it, but can't make a good living doing it. Now I'm designing technology for distance education classrooms and heading a unit that runs those rooms by remote control using internet connections.

    I can be smooth with a handheld camera if I want to, but never as smooth as a tripod. I did some work with a 2-chip Hitachi camcorder and a Steadicam Jr. once, and was pretty impressed with the result. A pretty simple system, but it gives nice video if you move it like David Carradine gliding around on Kung Fu.

  15. I don't care for the shaky cam either. It's kind of like have extreme vibrato in your audio effects. After about a minute of it, it becomes a distracting artifact that grinds against your sensory system.
  16. I think that most t.v. channels can afford Steadycam. My $169 Sony camcorder has steady-shot on it.

    I get that in some situations the camera won't be rock steady......but these people are deliberately making the shots uber-erratic.

    Which makes me uber-irritated....and then I get uber-annoyed.

    (Note to the editors on History Channel..........stop beginning every second sentence in a show with "What if?" or " Could it be that?"........I DON'T KNOW !!!!^%$&!*%!!.......Why are you asking me?......if I already knew I wouldn't be watching your show!!!%%#[email protected]!!......)

    (Note to the editors on Discovery Channel (and others).......it's not necessary after every commercial break to do a three minute recap of what went before........yes, the commercial breaks are far too long.....but my memory isn't that bad !!!).

    Dingbats!!....a pox upon thee......
  17. Fully agree! But the truth is, by doing a 3 minute recap every 10 minutes they keep the production cost down. (Meaning no new material has to be produced and they can burn time)
    When this happens I get so annoyed I turn the channel.
  18. marko138


    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    That's cool man. This was one of my cooler assignments....I got to go on the USS Somerset before it was commissioned last March in Philadelphia.


    I've got to interview a lot of celebs and high profile politicians. I shot an event with President Bush right before he left office. And I got to go on Three Mile Island a number of years ago when I was still in news.

    Need Gigs and Stewie26 like this.

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